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The Harry Potter Phenomenon Leads the Pack in Professional Translations

If you’re the kind of person who likes to read an international bestseller in your own language, then you may just be fluent in one of the 67 different languages in which J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter has been translated around the world. One of the most widely read works of children's literature in history, with readers of all ages worldwide, Harry Potter books have sold an estimated 450 million copies, and translated from the original English into at least 67 other languages. If you had doubts about the importance of professional translation, then this bestselling book is just one of many examples that prove why professional translations in a global village such as ours, is of critical importance on many fronts.

British and American editions of the books have sometimes been referred to as "translation" into American English. The most noted example being the different titles used for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the United Kingdom, versus Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States. The more you compare these two titles, the more it will dawn on you that despite two countries sharing the same language, there is a need to localize English from British to American. The same has been noted in Portuguese, where two versions of the same language were published, one for Portugal and one for Brazil.

If you’re not already using the services of a professional translator to translate your documents into a different language, then I’m sure you’ll want to consider seeking help from a reputable translation service with a proven track record, unless of course you want to find yourself at the very bottom of the food chain when all of your competitors are raking it in from foreign markets.

In the case of the Harry Potter books, you’ll be astounded to learn that unauthorized translations, hastily translated and posted on the internet chapter-by-chapter; or printed by small presses and sold illegally, are oftentimes the result of non-English speaking territories not being granted access to the books before their official release date in English; hence, translations take place only after the English editions had been published, creating several months gap before the translations were made available, thereby boosting sales of the English editions to impatient fans, in countries where English is not the first language. That’s just the upside for J.K. Rowling’s bestseller. The downside – pirated publications in foreign languages, is the alarming flipside to this storyteller’s predicament.

Usually reserved for companies, museums, law firms and the government, professional translation services can be key to the growth of your business—however small. It wouldn’t be farfetched for even a self-publishing novelist to consider hiring a professional translator to translate their works into a couple of other widely spoken languages in order to increase their chances of broadening their readership and fan base. So, as an author, if you’re the kind of person who needs to make more money, then professional translations of your works is exactly what will put that money in the bank for you.

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